at the Waterloo Courtyard of SAM
work in progress
We are a tropical archipelago near the Pacific Ocean making it prone to typhoons, and has islands which from time to time disappear due to the constant shifting of the tides from high to low, changing our geography and inevitably our needs. As a city dweller, I am not immune to the inconveniences brought about by disastrous floods. With this reality to live by, one would think that Filipinos should have by now have managed how to keep their material belongings few, and live with just the basic things. Ironically, we don't. We have hoarders mentality and we accumulate objects that have no basic function in our everyday. In a typical Filipino home, you'll find objects that might seem out of place and without rational purpose, but are safely kept as memorabilia that reflects the keeper's desires and interests.
For the exhibition An Atlas of Mirrors, I would paint a mural that will use "unnecessary objects" as image inspiration. These are objects that have no evident basic purpose or are repurposed to suit the possessor's needs. As bearers of a variety of interpretation, I would like to utilize objects as alternate mirrors discussed in the exhibition concept. They will serve as instruments of vision and navigation to reflect the self in a microcosmic level, the micro narratives in the macrocosm. I plan to interview individuals and families who have experienced disasters, and get to know their lifestyles through the "unnecessary objects" they have accumulated. I would like to find out if there are shifts in their mindsets in collecting and/or use of objects after they experienced disasters such as floods.
On the other hand, a group of Filipino workers in Singapore would be feature on the walls, same subject matter but in a different setting and situation. What do they keep and collect from their journey in life.
“i Wander, i Wonder”
Camilo José Vergara uses photographs as “a means of discovery, as a tool with which to clarify visions and construct knowledge about a particular city or place," an online article wrote. For my process, I would like to capture the "unnecessary objects" through photography and (re)discover my interviewee's personality through his/her accumulated things. Photography will be my initial interaction with the objects, which will then be reinterpreted to appropriate my concept of how our material possessions become what we are, wandering for more. But it is in this aimless journey of collecting that also builds our identity and gives us infinite wonder in life and living.
The photos from the interviews will serve as references for the acrylic on wall painting. I will paint composites of the possessor and the possessions in psychedelic or colorful approach on a large wall.
Exploring shared histories and current realities within and beyond the region, Singapore Biennale 2016 presents a constellation of artistic perspectives that provide unexpected ways of seeing the world and ourselves.
Titled An Atlas of Mirrors, the international contemporary art exhibition features site-specific and never seen before contemporary artworks by more than 60 artists across Southeast Asia, and East and South Asia.
From where we are, how do we picture the world – and ourselves?
Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors
In charting our way around the world, humankind has relied on instruments of vision as well as navigation. Atlases map and mirror our journeys of discovery and often make visible more than just physical terrains; driven by our needs and desires, they embolden us to venture into the unknown.
From our coordinates in Southeast Asia, the arc of our shared histories encompasses East and South Asia. These regions bear the imprints of one another’s diverse cultures, even as boundaries are also constantly reimagined. Fraught and unstable, these borders are characterised by fluid movement and migration which also reflect pre-state national entities, and highlight the challenges that beset contemporary conditions.
Where navigational tools like the atlas – a compendium of maps – enable us to set our sights further afield, one instrument in particular – the mirror – brings us into that which is still so mysterious: the self. While we depend on mirrors to show us to ourselves, their reflective surfaces are not always reliable for they echo, skew, magnify and invert.
How will a coupling of an atlas and the curiosities of the mirror shift our perception of the world? Through combining the divergent literal and metaphorical characteristics of these devices, a new instrument of vision and thought is imagined, giving rise to a constellation of artistic perspectives which trace our migratory, intertwining histories and cultures.
An Atlas of Mirrors positions Southeast Asia as a vantage point through which we recognise our world anew.
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is a contemporary art museum which
focuses on art-making and art-thinking in Singapore, Southeast Asia and
Asia, encompassing a worldwide perspective on contemporary art
practice. SAM advocates and makes accessible interdisciplinary
contemporary art through research-led and evolving curatorial practice.
Since it opened in January 1996, SAM has built up one of the most
important collections of contemporary art from the region. It seeks to
seed and nourish a stimulating and creative space in Singapore through
exhibitions and public programmes, and to deepen every visitor’s
experience. These include outreach and education, research and
publications, as well as cross-disciplinary residencies and exchanges.
In 2011, SAM was the venue organiser of the Singapore Biennale, becoming the main organiser in 2013 and 2016. www.singaporeartmuseum.sg
Singapore Art Museum
The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By
nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement,
we want to develop a distinctive global city for the arts. With a nod to
tradition and an eye to the future, we cultivate accomplished artists
and vibrant companies. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from
grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The
Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the
arts so that together we can make the arts an integral part of
everyone's lives. For more information on the Council's mission and
plans, please visit www.nac.gov.sg
National Arts Council, Singapore
About the commissionerAbout the National Arts Council, Singapore The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, we want to develop a distinctive global city for the arts. With a nod to tradition and an eye to the future, we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone's lives. For more information on the Council's mission and plans, please visit www.nac.gov.sg